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Tech News Today 168: Egypt Flips Off Internet

by TWiT

Published January 28, 2011

Google fears Microsoft, Will 3D really harm your kids, ZTE (who?) passes Apple in phone shipments, and more.

Run time 44:52
Producer TWiT
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


Tom Merritt
Sarah Lane
Iyaz Akhtar
Jason Howell


Top Stories

Amidst chaos and riots, Egypt turns off the Internet
The Internet's global routing table, which is used by Internet routers to determine where to send traffic, has had virtually every Egypt-bound route withdrawn, giving the Internet traffic no path either into or out of the country. Reported that 88 percent of the country's Internet access is gone. Messages circulating in Egypt pointed people towards unofficial DNS servers so they can get back online. Vodafone said mobile operators in Egypt had been instructed to suspend services in selected areas, internet access was blocked shortly after midnight and mobile phone, BlackBerry, and text messaging services also appeared to be disabled or working sporadically, Reuters reported.
Noor Group, a smaller provider, still appears to have external connectivity (possibly related to keeping the Egyptian Stock Exchange online)
The Syrian authorities have banned certain programmes that allows access to Facebook's Chat application.
Arbor networks graph of traffic in Egypt

FBI executes more than 40 search warrants in Probe of Pro-WikiLeaks Attackers
'Anonymous' defends the use of web attacks
1st person accounts of FBI raids
"The FBI also is reminding the public that facilitating or conducting a DDoS attack is illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as exposing participants to significant civil liability,” the FBI said in a press release. The FBI did not announce any arrests in conjunction with the searches.

Motorola, HTC, RIM Missing from Smartphone Top 5: IDC
ZTE displaces Apple as No. 4 phone maker; RIM bumped from top 5

Discussion Stories

Schmidt: Google Worries About Microsoft, Not Facebook - Speaking to reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos
BBC interview
Google: Eric Schmidt hints at China ambitions

Could 3D television be dangerous to watch?
"For a five or six-year-old child to go in and see an 82-minute movie once every month, I have to say there is not anybody legitimate in the medical profession who has suggested that we're jeopardising the health of our children," -Jeffery Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation

"The patients that we see [who would need treatment for this] would be a very, very tiny percentage and is a very low risk."-Karen Sparrow, education adviser at the Association of Optometrists.

Amazon Says Kindle Book Sales Have Overtaken Paperback Sales

Sony says NGP will be 'affordable,' won't cost $599, WiFi-only version also coming
Carmack Says NGP Is a 'Generation Beyond' Smartphones
PlayStation NGP round-up: price, battery, hardware, and games

News Fuse

California resident Donald LeBuhn filed a lawsuit this week accusing Apple of knowingly unloading flawed iPhone 4s onto customers, citing personal experience with his own iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. That's right. Glassgate has finally spawned a lawsuit. LeBuhn argues that Apple knows about this flaw in the iPhone's design and should refund the purchase price to all customers covered by the class, in addition to repair fees and restitution.

RIM might be in a little trouble with India. India wanted to be able to monitor all messages that pass through BlackBerry phones and RIM said it would give that ability to the government. While regular consumer messaging can be monitored, RIM now admits they can't monitor communications over VPN. So what kind of trouble could RIM be in? Possibly a ban on BlackBerry services. RIM's got till the 31st to find a solution.

A leaked image from Costco and an accidentally posted Amazon Wireless page both seem to confirm that the Motrola Atrix 4G will cost $150 if you get a contract, $600 without. The Atrix 4G will run on the ATT network and it was a big hit at CES since it could turn into a laptop or desktop using docking stations. The Amazon page also had a February 11th release date for the phone.
New Atrix 4G Video

Microsoft’s Amanda Lefebvre told Mobilized the company is looking into selling Microsoft Office using the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store makes it easy for users to download and install new applications - while also giving Apple 30% of sales. Then again, if you want Office on Mac, you can always install it the old fashioned way.

Want to run homebrew games on the PS3? Well a Sony patch to the PS3 firmware says forget it. Oh, wait, Sony's patch was hacked in a few hours. Homebrew gamers, go about your business. Sony, your move.

The mother of an autistic 11-year-old boy who went on US TV to lambast Microsoft for labelling her son an Xbox Live cheat has admitted she made a mistake, after Microsoft released evidence for the lad's actions, including the transfer of the gamertag to an out-of-town console and achievements earned out of order. Microsoft has offered Julias a free month of Xbox Live to start fresh with a new Gamertag.

At least 51 torrent sites have been taken down this month thanks to joint efforts by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its dutch counterpart BREIN—12 in the US and 39 in the Netherlands. The two groups say they were able to work with the sites' hosting providers to take them offline, though the names of the affected sites have not been released. Despite the large numbers TorrentFreak notes their absence has been barely noted.

Samsung has shipped two million of its Galaxy Tab tablets since the product's launch three months ago, and the company is already planning some kind of addition to the line, according to a leaked PR schedule for the Mobile World Congress. Looks like Samsung wants to get out the Galaxy Tab 2 before Apple's new iPad hits.

Matt Cutts, who heads the webspam team at Google today announced a change to Google's search algorithm which aims to improve results and reward sites which contribute original content to the Internet. Sites that scrape or copy other sites' content will be demoted. Demand media, purveyors of vast quantities of content, often thought to be of low quality, could suffer from this change, right when its stock IPO has been released.

Kickers and Weird Science

Twitter Kicks Off Its Super Bowl Site, Using Visa’s Money


Monday 1/31, Apple drops Xserve line of server products
HP CEO Leo Apotheker says New webOS products will be shipping mere weeks after February 9 reveal, another big announcement March 14


John Henry: Facebook Social Captcha

"My mom came across this a few months ago because she lives w us in HI most of the year and we bought her a laptop to take back to OK w her. When she logged into face book on the new laptop from the strange location they asked her to pick out people based on their pics... My mom can barely see the screen with her glasses on on a good day and she plays farmville so most of her friends are other random farmville players or kids that I went to highschool with and I'm now 30... All that said to say that you have to get a certain percentage of those faces correct before it lets you into your account-it took her about six different times before she was able to successfully log in. Facebook should rethink this particular security feature. She lost crops!

Mrs. RJ Lewis"

"Hey TNT Crew,

I was listening to the TNT 164 story about Japan blocking Slingbox-like devices. One reason why this is such a big issue in Japan can be found in the decline of national anime consumption and the desire to increase revenue through a more substantial export [source]. This is however undermined by a vibrant fan-subbing community, which acquires RAW's (the original video footage) from Japan through something like a Slingbox and then subtitles anime series themselves. These ""fan-subs"" are very popular because licensing of anime for international sales has always been a tediously long process and the subsequent (English) dubs are often regarded as inferior. To combat the problem, Japanese animation studios are now trying to cut off these fan-subs at the source and internationally halting legal subtitled streaming until licensees there do the same [source]. As usual this only results in more people being driven to piracy, because they can't watch their series legally anymore.

Kind regards, Tom the Power System Engineer"

"First off love the show, but needed to keep you honest about something. When talking about Time Warner/Time Warner Cable you need to be specific now, since they are two separate companies now. Time Warner Cable was spun off from Time Warner the content company last year, and is now a publicly traded company.

Stephen Charlotte,NC"


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